Stages of Baby Babbling

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Happy Tiny Tuesday, y’all!!! I’ve been slacking on my Tiny Tuesday posts lately, but I promise to be consistent from here on out! Today I am putting on my speech therapist hat and talking about – babbling!

Ever since Abby Little Shmabby got her tubes put in she’s been a babbling queen. I love how intently she stares at my mouth too, just taking in the way it moves and trying to figure out this whole “talking” thing.

Did you know that there is such a thing as babbling milestones? I definitely would not have known that had I not gone to school to be an SLP. I’m going to break it down by age so that it’s easier to follow, but you can also check out the ASHA website for more in depth information on babbling and language development.

stages of babbling:

  1. Around 4-6 months babies begin to babble. Their babble is typically a p, b, or m sound. For example, “muh” or “puh” or “ba.”
  2. Around 6-7 months canonical babbling begins. Canonical babbling is characterized by the same sound repeated over and over. For example, “dada” or “bababababa” or “mamamama.” Babies begin experimenting with different sounds and really focus in on the sounds and words being used by those around them.
  3. Around 10 months variegated babbling begins. Variegated babbling is just a fancy word for combining different syllables. For example, “papadaba” or “mamalata.” They are nonsense strings of syllables. They will eventually turn into words like “doggy” or “kitty.”
  4. Around 12 months your baby begins to communicate via jargon and words. 

stages of baby babbling

tools to increase verbal output:

  1. Simple, colorful DVDs that are full of songs and simple vocabulary are great. This set of DVDs is a great option!
  2. Baby Signing Time is a DVD we starting showing our girls very earlier on (pre-verbal output). Believe it or not, learning to sign aids in language acquisition and output. The DVD is a fun sing-a-long and doesn’t require a lot of attention.
  3. Talk, talk, talk. One of the best things you can do for your babbling baby is to talk! Talk through every single thing you do. Talk while you’re changing their diaper, while you dress her, while you feed her, etc. Bombard her with language!

For more information on verbal development:

Birth – 3 months:

  • coos and goos when happy
  • cries for wants/needs and begins to develop a different cry for different things
  • smiles when he/she sees you

4 – 6 months:

  • giggles and laughs
  • begins canonical babbling – lots of p/b/m sounds
  • makes gurgling sounds
  • makes sounds when excited and different sounds when she is unhappy

7 months – 1 year:

  • begins variagated babbling
  • uses non-crying sounds to get your attention (if your little is like Abby, then she probably screams a high-pitch squel to get your attention…yea, we’re ready for this part to end, haha)
  • begins to use gestures to communicate

1 year:

  • has 1-2 words such as “dada” or “mama” or “dog”

What can you as a parent do to help? Talk. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Sounds too simple to be true, but the best thing to do for your little is to model good language. Label everything you see, make animal sounds, talk your way through changing a diaper, talk until you feel crazy. 🙂

One of the most common questions I get is “how many words should my baby have at 1 year,” and the answer is every kid is different. However, according to ASHA, the average amount of words a 1 year old child should have is 1-2 words. For more information about language milestones, you can see this post I did awhile back.

xx – anna